Teen Arts Camp 2017 Class Descriptions

Led by Camp Leader MICHELLE ALBA and other Old Town School teaching artists, 12 – 15 year olds connect and collaborate in an intimate and creative environment as they explore the arts at our 4545 North Lincoln Avenue location. Each session is two weeks.

Teen Arts Camp, Session 1: Ensembles Forever

It’s so simple, right? An ensemble is a group of artists who perform together. It’s easy to listen to or watch an ensemble and figure out if it sounds or looks good, but what is it exactly that makes an ensemble work? How do you get everyone (and their ideas!) to just click? In this session of Teen Arts Camp, that’s what we’ll find out. We’ll experiment with both music ensembles and theater ensembles as we discover their similarities and differences. Ultimately, we will explore the ways in which we can combine our ideas, compliment each other’s strengths, and help each other with our challenges, all while building something really amazing together.

SESSION 1 ·
Teamwork/Dreamwork with Jeff Trainor »

Ensembles are groups of artists, performers, or dancers who create together. They’re like a family: they work collaboratively, challenge each other, support each other, and make each other stronger. With these goals in mind, students in this class will learn about creating a theater ensemble through improv games, creative writing exercises, and shared experiences. We will learn about our collective strength and celebrate the ways that our differences make us stronger. As we explore unity as a concept and develop our own theater ensemble, we’ll work towards creating a collaborative showcase piece that connects with the Build A Band class, harnesses pure teamwork, and captures everything that makes an ensemble feel like pure magic.

SESSION 1 ·
The Groove Group with Oliver Horton

Every band is an ensemble, and every ensemble needs certain ingredients to make it work! In this class, we’ll talk about what the special recipe is, and how to shape a music ensemble that truly grooves. On our way to forming our own ensembles, we’ll experience an overview of musical ensemble styles from around the world, learn about the roles within various types of ensembles, and structure our own ensembles. This unique, dynamic class will focus on the process of songwriting, arranging, and instrumentation, all while exploring a variety of music exercises, techniques, and skills. As we examine unity through rhythm we’ll work towards creating a collaborative showcase piece that connects deeply with the Teamwork/Dreamwork class. We will harnesses pure teamwork, the ability to listen deeply and capture everything that makes an ensemble feel like pure magic.

SESSION 1 ·
Stage Combat with Christina Gorman »

Stage Combat will get you moving, thinking, and learning about how fight scenes on stage look so incredibly real! In this dynamic (and really fun) physical class, students will study and learn unarmed stage combat techniques, focusing on punches, slaps, kicks, and more. Safety is stressed at all times. As such, students are challenged to be responsible for keeping themselves and their partners safe while still playing through the reality of the fight choreography. Trust exercises, physical games, and other movement principals will also be introduced in this class. Ultimately, students will gain a better sense of body awareness, communication, and coordination, and will be able to perform a realistic-looking, but completely safe, stage fight to a script of their own creation.

SESSION 1 ·
The 360° Self Portrait with Corinne Mucha »

What’s your artistic thing? Is it acting? Poetry? Piano? Singing? Flamenco dance? Printmaking? Gaming design? The world needs so many kinds of art, and every artist has a different motivation for making their art. How do you define yours? In this visual art workshop, we will use drawing and writing exercises to explore our favorite art forms and our individual identities as artists.

SESSION 1 ·
Mindfulness Boot Camp with Darrell Jones »

What is mindfulness? It means paying attention to ourselves and our surroundings, as well as our feelings, opinions, and thoughts in the present moment. Paying attention on purpose or intentionally is another way of stating what mindfulness is. This may sound simple, but it can often be quite challenging in our modern, full and busy world. Mindfulness practices are exercises to help us better pay attention and focus on the present moment. Regular mindfulness practices have been shown to improve mental focus, support emotional balance, heighten creativity and problem solving skills and improve the practitioner’s relationship to the stresses of their daily living. Every art form needs mindfulness, so come see what a little mindfulness can do for you!


Teen Arts Camp, Session 2: Musical Theater

Are you hooked on Hamilton? Would you love to be part of a creative ensemble, either on stage or behind the scenes? Are you interested in the ways that music, writing, movement, visual art, and acting come together on stage to create an artistic masterpiece? We'll explore these things and much more in this musical theater session of Teen Arts Camp. If you're a musical theater enthusiast from way back, or if musical theater is brand new to you, then this session of camp is the place for you!

SESSION 2 ·
The Right To Write with Greg Geffrard »

Speak your truth! Use your voice to create change! This class will focus on creating the language that will help us find humanity in our differences. Shows like Hamilton are forging new ways to converse with audiences, and turning older hip-hop aesthetics upside down. We’ll talk about how to have these kinds of conversations with each other and our audiences, and how spoken word styles are a part of this technique. We will look around, document, and represent our world and our values. Then we’ll create and perform poems based on each student’s experiences within their own community, and integrate music, blocking, synchronized voices, and movement. You are it! You are the new generation of multi-disciplined writers and performers who fuse theatre, poetry, dance, jazz, hip-hop, and politics to create moving, challenging, and entertaining works for the stage. Speak your truth!

SESSION 2 ·
Revolutionary Theater with Alisa Rosenthal »

You want a revolution? I want a revelation!
Why is Hamilton sweeping the nation, and what paved the way for it to get here? In this class, we'll explore the script writing of Hamilton (how is a story from over 200 years ago made to feel relevant? Why do we care about the bad guy?) and use it as a point of departure to work on writing our own scripts and songs about ourselves and what's on our minds about the world. We'll look at other plays and musicals from around the world and in history that were illegal or blasphemous -- where the very act of putting them on was a revolution. Working closely with The Right to Write class, we'll learn about and create exciting and inspiring ways to develop our stories and songs, drawing from individual journaling, ensemble devising up on our feet, and singing, reading, and thinking about lots of good brain food.

SESSION 2 ·
Dance Dance Revolution! with Eilleen Mallary »

Ready to get down and explore what makes Hamilton such a game changer? In this class, we’ll dig into how Hamilton is drawing in a new generation of theatergoers and how important stories can be told through dance, rap, hip hop, and contemporary movement. Dance is an integral part of this landmark show and we’ll take a look at Hamilton’s unique mash-up of styles. We’ll learn about and try out some movement from jazz to hip hop to swing to jitterbug! We’ll also examine how social dance reflects how people are feeling at the current time. Together, we’ll brainstorm on issues that are important to us and decide how we want our voices to be heard. Together, we’ll develop movement to accompany our musical theater experience as we draw on hip hop, stories, spoken word, theater, and rap to create our own revolution!

SESSION 2 ·
The 360° Self Portrait with Corinne Mucha »

What’s your artistic thing? Is it acting? Poetry? Piano? Singing? Flamenco dance? Printmaking? Gaming design? The world needs so many kinds of art, and every artist has a different motivation for making their art. How do you define yours? In this visual art workshop, we will use drawing and writing exercises to explore our favorite art forms and our individual identities as artists.

SESSION 2 ·
Mindfulness Boot Camp with Darrell Jones »

What is mindfulness? It means paying attention to ourselves and our surroundings, as well as our feelings, opinions, and thoughts in the present moment. Paying attention on purpose or intentionally is another way of stating what mindfulness is. This may sound simple, but it can often be quite challenging in our modern, full and busy world. Mindfulness practices are exercises to help us better pay attention and focus on the present moment. Regular mindfulness practices have been shown to improve mental focus, support emotional balance, heighten creativity and problem solving skills and improve the practitioner’s relationship to the stresses of their daily living. Every art form needs mindfulness, so come see what a little mindfulness can do for you!


Teen Arts Camp, Session 3: The Picture Show

Everyone likes movies, right? Chances are good that anyone you know could tell you exactly why they love the movies that they do, and why a particular movie’s soundtrack can make them swoon. In this Teen Arts Camp class, we’ll examine it all: the writing, acting, directing, producing, and the scoring. We’ll talk about the movies we love and we’ll dig deep to find out exactly why we feel the way we do about them. We’ll analyze their music, critique their creation, and distribute cast and crew roles. Together, we’ll work through the incredible, rewarding process of creating our own short films and scores. If you’ve made movies before, or even if you’ve only just seen movies before, then this is the camp for you!

SESSION 3 ·
What's the Score? with Liz Chidester »

Movies are amazing! They take us on a journey to places we never dreamed of, and they hold mirrors up to our everyday lives to help us change the world. But movies would be boring without one thing: music! Music makes us feel a range of emotions, and helps movies tell incredible stories. In this camp class, we will explore famous scores and soundtracks to inspire us as we create and set scores to our own short films.

SESSION 3 ·
Filmmaking with Sharon Krome »

In this class, it’s definitely all about the big screen. We’ll view many film clips and learn about a wide variety of filmmakers as each student develops a foundation of filmmaking aesthetics and decides what type of film work speaks to them the most. We’ll explore all the roles within the field of filmmaking as we examine stylistic origins and styles of video production and filmmaking from movies, television, commercials, and the internet. Together, we’ll focus on writing and storyboarding original film as we learn exercises, techniques, and skills that will make the screen really shine. Finally, we’ll shoot our films and work in tandem with the score writing instructor to create an original score that fits perfectly.

SESSION 3 ·
Stage Combat with Jaq Seifert »

Ever wonder how actors on stage are able to execute realistic fight scenes night after night? It's not real, it's stage combat! This class will teach students the fundamentals of stage combat such as partnering, communication, safety, body awareness, and coordination, while also teaching moves such as punches, kicks, slaps, and falls. Trust exercises, physical games, and other movement principals will also be introduced, while allowing students a safe space to create realistic-looking choreography that incorporates storytelling and character in a script of their own creation.

SESSION 3 ·
The 360° Self Portrait with Corinne Mucha »

What’s your artistic thing? Is it acting? Poetry? Piano? Singing? Flamenco dance? Printmaking? Gaming design? The world needs so many kinds of art, and every artist has a different motivation for making their art. How do you define yours? In this visual art workshop, we will use drawing and writing exercises to explore our favorite art forms and our individual identities as artists.

SESSION 3 ·
Mindfulness Boot Camp with Darrell Jones »

What is mindfulness? It means paying attention to ourselves and our surroundings, as well as our feelings, opinions, and thoughts in the present moment. Paying attention on purpose or intentionally is another way of stating what mindfulness is. This may sound simple, but it can often be quite challenging in our modern, full and busy world. Mindfulness practices are exercises to help us better pay attention and focus on the present moment. Regular mindfulness practices have been shown to improve mental focus, support emotional balance, heighten creativity and problem solving skills and improve the practitioner’s relationship to the stresses of their daily living. Every art form needs mindfulness, so come see what a little mindfulness can do for you!

The Old Town School of Folk Music, Inc.
4544 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago IL 60625  •  773.728.6000